1:00 PM ET, January 2, 2005
Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina coach Roy Williams had a simple message for his players before, during and after their latest lopsided victory:"Enjoy it while you can," he told them. "Monday, you're going to boot camp." Sean May continued his recent tear, scoring 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting to lead North Carolina (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 4 AP) past William & Mary 105-66 on Sunday. Raymond Felton finally missed a 3-pointer, ending his run of 12 straight, but that was about the only problem for the Tar Heels (12-1). They have won 12 in a row since losing to Santa Clara in the opener, and they start the bulk of their Atlantic Coast Conference schedule Saturday against Maryland (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 24 AP). With nearly a week to prepare, and classes not in session, Williams has two-a-day workouts planned for each day except Tuesday. What does he hope to improve? "Everything we have," he said. "We don't run it as well as we could. We don't defend as well as we could. Anyone who thinks we're as good as we can be is not being very realistic." Jawad Williams had 19 points, Rashad McCants added 15 and Felton finished with 12 assists for North Carolina. In the past seven games, May is shooting 66 percent and is averaging 17.4 points, all since he scored a season-low eight points at Indiana on Dec. 1. "This is probably the most important week of the season," May said. "It's going to be tough. We'll probably be on the line a lot, running, for a lot of the little mistakes we've been making." The Tar Heels scored more than 100 points for the second straight game, the first time that's happened in exactly 10 years, when they beat Marshall 116-62. Getting there wasn't easy in this one, since a 3-pointer by McCants accounted for their only points in the first 4½ minutes. A 14-0 run over a 3-minute span late in the first half helped North Carolina take control, and 11 consecutive points to start the final 20 minutes made it 64-32. "We handled the trap well early, they didn't trap as many times early, but we had some turnovers and it led to easy transition baskets for them, as opposed to having to work for the baskets," Tribe coach Tony Shaver said. Corey Cofield and Nate Loehrke each had 16 points for William & Mary (4-6). After a quick start -- it was tied at 20 midway through the first half -- the Tribe fell apart. They went nearly 11 minutes spanning halftime with only two baskets, and they committed 11 of their 19 turnovers in the opening half. It wasn't the type of homecoming Shaver wanted. A 1976 graduate of North Carolina, he played was a walk-on for Dean Smith before eventually earning a scholarship, and he was named the team's freshman of the year. "I'd say they are a pretty good basketball team, no doubt about it," Shaver said. "They score the ball exceptionally well and I really think if they will defend with consistency this year, they will have a great season." Shaver paused for a second, then smiled. "Sounds like an old alumnus, I guess, more than an opponent coach," he said sheepishly. William & Mary was within 28-25 on a jumper by Cofield with about 7 minutes left in the first half. Later, with the Tar Heels leading by eight, Williams scored to start the 14-0 run, which included a powerful dunk by Marvin Williams after a nifty pass from Felton. Jawad Williams finished it off by tipping a missed 3 by Melvin Scott, and North Carolina led 53-32 at halftime. "We got some turnovers and got a break going," Roy Williams said. "I'm happy for us, and I was impressed with Tony's club and how they kept fighting. It was very hard for us." Felton started the second half with a 3-pointer -- he finished 2-for-6 after his four-game run of 12 in a row -- and May capped the 11-0 run with a jam on a lob from Felton. "I got a lot of stuff on the break," May said. "This team is extremely unselfish. It shows with four or five times this year, we've had different guys lead us in scoring, and on any given night, you don't know who it's going to be."
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